Bangkok is Thailand’s economic center and offers a blend of both old and new. It is an expression of Thai respect for tradition coupled with their vibrant involvement with modern progress. The modern façade of the city is imposing, but its dynamic past holds its own amongst the skyscrapers that line the river, reaching further and further toward the heavens. Bangkok is a city electric with excitement, always in motion and pressing the visitor to take it all in. We invite you to do just that – explore imperial Bangkok and discover why the Thais call it the “City of Angels”.
Favorite Activities in Bangkok
Bangkok City & Temples
Bangkok has approximately 400 Buddhist temples. Wat Traimit (the Temple of the Golden Buddha), this temple is known for its famous Golden Buddha. Thought to have been constructed during the Sukhothai period and at three meters high and weighing five and a half tons, the Golden Buddha, officially titled Phra Phuttha Maha Suwan Patimakon, is the world’s largest solid gold statue.
Visit Wat Benchamabopit. This magnificent monastery was built with white Italian marble.
Go on to see The Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Kaeo). Bangkok’s most important and sacred wat. Built at the end of the 18th century by King Rama I, this splendid example of Thai aesthetics and religious architecture houses the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most venerated image. So small and distant that it can hardly be seen, the jade image symbolizes the independence, strength and good fortune of the country. The Interior walls are painted with superb frescoes, while murals between the window frames depict Jataka scenes from the life of Buddha.
Klong Cruise & Grand Palace
The network of klongs (canals) highlights the traditional Thai way of life that once gave Bangkok the title of “The Venice of the East”, on the mighty Chao Phraya River (the River of the Kings). Enjoy a morning boat ride along the Chao Phraya River. Stop at the Temple of Dawn, ‘Wat Arun,’ which is one of the city’s iconic landmarks and visit the Royal Palace to see Dusit Hall abd holy Wat Phra Kaew to gaze at the Jade Budha. The Grand Palace is one of the most beautiful examples of an ancient Siamese court, which incorporates several palaces and halls used for different occasions. Bangkok’s former royal palace is an intriguing blend of Italian Renaissance architecture and classical Thai roofing. It was begun in 1782 by King Rama I and improved upon by subsequent rulers. See the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Reception Palace and the Funeral Palace.
Damnern Saduak Floating Markets
The River and ‘klong’ markets give a realistic glance of how daily life must have been in earlier times. The floating markets are where the sellers, their boats laden with a wide variety of tropical fruits, flowers and vegetables, come to barter their products. Visit the Bangkok Flower Market or Pak Klong Talad as it is known locally. This market is Bangkok’s answer to London’s Covent Garden, a lively, colorful place presenting an excellent opportunity for seeing the rich variety of Thailand’s fresh produce. You can wander through the many stalls to see orchids of every color and variety available by the thousands.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Since 1982, Chatuchak market has been the most popular of markets in Bangkok. This famous weekend shopping haven is the biggest, best stocked and probably the most frequented of markets with the best bargains to be found anywhere in the city.
Thai Dinner and Dances at Sala Rim Nan
The Thai dinner and dance shows are a visual and palatable delight which occur at Sala Rim Nam, a richly decorated Thai pavilion on the river. Originating from Northern Thailand, the restaurant is also the setting for one of the kingdom’s cultural experiences – classical Thai dancing.
Thailand tours start at just a little over $100 per day including a tour guide, transportation, first class hotels, some sightseeing and meals.